Economics at Ground Level

from Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics:

From the standpoint of society as a whole, the “cost” of anything is the value it has in alternative uses.

That cost is reflected in the market when the price that one individual is willing to pay becomes a cost that others are forced to pay, in order to get a share of the same scarce resource or the products made from it. … The real cost of building a bridge are the other things that could have been built with that same labor and material.  This is also true at the level of a given individual, even when no money is involved. The cost of watching a television sitcom or soap opera is the value of the other things that could have been done with that same time.

Ouch.  Substitute Sudoku for sitcom and you’ve nailed me, Thomas Sowell.


3 thoughts on “Economics at Ground Level

  1. “Good, better, best” — I am reminded of a Bible study I attended, taught by Elisabeth George — this was her teaching throughout: look at what we choose to do and consider the choices in terms of good, better, and best — the “cost” may not be harmful, just not necessarily beneficial in the bigger picture of our lives. (Though I am the first to admit that good is sometimes just what I seem to need, from my viewpoint ). Thanks for the reminder through this application of your economics lesson. Blessings, Laurie

  2. Well, I must admit I used to be a TV Guide crossword puzzle fanatic. My daughter and I would fight over it, till the age of the printer that was also a scanner. Then we would have a challenge to see who could fill out the most. I finally realized I was subscribing to the magazine simply for the crossword, and quit. This was after MANY years of the dumb thing. It’s amazing what we do to “relax,” isn’t it?

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